If you are going to be remembered for anything it might as well be something approaching super human. Bert Trautmann will be forever remembered for playing football while sustaining a broken neck!
Bert Trautmann day with destiny came about during the 1956 Cup Final between Manchester City and Birmingham City. Manchester City with the recalled Don Revie was leading 3 – 1 when Peter Murphy for Birmingham City was given half a chance to score. Bert Trautmann dived out and smothered the attempt, colliding with Pete Murphys boot with his head. After a while Bert Trautmann got up and feeling a bit groggy continued to play football for the remainder of the game.
Manchester City won the final and as Bert Trautmann went to collect his winning medal he had to be helped up the stairs. It was only 3 days later that it was noticed that he had a broken neck!
Can you imagine something like this happening nowadays? Absolutely not! Bert Trautmann was born in Germany and was in the Hitler Youth before joining the army and becoming one of the elite members of the Luftwaffe paratroops. After being captured he spent the rest of the war a s a prisoner of war and he persuaded the camp authorities to allow him to form a football team and play local sides.
After the war he stayed in England and was signed to St Helen’s and then Manchester City. He received constant booing and abuse being a German but he maintained his position and finally retired from football in 1964. He went on to coaching and working with the German Football Association in fostering good relations.
His life had many ups and down and the biggest down was when his son died while crossing the road in Manchester. This happened a month after his heroics during the cup final. He finally ended up in Spain running a vineyard and made regular visits to Manchester to watch his beloved Manchester City.